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Mulling over worst case "what-ifs"

December 11th, 2016 at 11:30 am

I met with a Vanguard CFP last week. I gave them all my numbers and current assets. It was a free consultation so I wanted to take advantage of it for another "check-up."

My main question for him was, in the worst case scenario, could I survive on the money I have now if I could never again find full-time work and had to settle for p/t work grossing just $2,000 a month, or $24,000 a year, starting now and continuing for another 7 years? (The 7 years is an arbitrary figure on my part. I would start collecting SS in the 8th year.)

Like T. Rowe Price, they have proprietary software that lets them run thousands of different possible scenarios involving stock market performance.

He said I would be "a little off course" and have a 78% chance of living on current assets through 2059, or to age 100. (So they're basing their analysis on 43 years in retirement, not the 33 I would assume.)

Depending on how the stock market played out, I would most likely end up at age 100 with as little as $1.2 million or as much as $5.2 million.

Interestingly, if I reined in my annual living expenses just a bit I could dramatically increase the likelihood of not running out of money at age 100.

I told him I know my annual living expenses are between $40 and $45,000. He based his analysis on $45,000, to be conservative, but I know my expenses are closer to $43,000 a year. His program showed that if I could live on $40,000 a year, just a few thousand less, the likelihood of not running out of money in my lifetime jumps to 90%.

The analysis does factor in my collecting Social Security at age 66.

So I think that's some reassurance that in a worst case scenario where I can't find another well paying f/t job in my field, I could squeak by and make it work for the long haul. (Especially since I'm not counting on living to 100.)

$25K in earned gross income each year doesn't sound like much, in my field, but if I only wanted to work 20 hours a week for the next 7 years, then I'd need to find something that paid $23K an hour, and I'm not sure I could do that in a p/t job; either that or work for a lower rate of pay for more hours.

In other news...
Yesterday I was enjoying a very leisurely day tidying up the place and decorating for Christmas since I've now decided on having Christmas brunch for 3 people.

Then my dad called around 2 pm and told me he couldn't make our planned dinner out last night becus he had to drive down to Jersey (1.5 hrs each way) to meet a plumber (at my half-brother's house) who requires a deposit before he can replace a boiler at the house my dad is renting out.

He couldn't charge the deposit to his one credit card because the card expired and when he got the new card in the mail a month ago, with his vision issues he didn't realize it was a replacement and he threw it away. I offered to charge it on my card and he could pay me back, but he said no. Dad ALWAYS ends up doing things the hard way.

The renter is a loser waitress who likes to drink and is now 3 months behind on the rent and most likely knew she couldn't afford the house when she moved in, but dad being old school didn't do a credit check. Again, dad follows his own counsel, doesn't listen to others' advice and ends up getting burned. His lawyer has sent her a letter saying she must vacate by Dec 31 but we all know she won't, and eviction will drag things out.

But dad is being very careful not to delay fixing the heat since tenant rights rules are very strict in NJ and she has her rights, even tho she's delinquent on the rent.

We just had a long driving trip on Thursday, coming back 4 hours from the PA family reunion, so I turned him down when he asked me if i wanted to come along for the ride. After hanging up, i thought about it and realized it would be dark when he would be driving back and I could never live with myself should something happen on the road. He shouldn't be driving AT ALL at night but he does so all the time.

So I called him back and asked him if he'd passed my exit yet, and he said no, so i told him to pick me up. He wouldn't budge out of the car seat when he arrived, so he drove us down through some very congested areas but at least I drove us home in the dark (Bright headlights disorient him).

We stopped at our favorite German restaurant on the way home for dinner, and dad told me that when he called me and asked if I wanted to come, he just offered that invitation in case I wanted to go, but now that we were back home, he said he was glad I came (because the driving on NJ roads, like CT, is full of aggressive drivers and blinding lights). It made me feel good to hear him acknowledge that, but I also know he will continue to drive at night when he needs to. I try to minimize those times, but I can't control his behavior 100%.

So, it wasn't how I planned to spend my afternoon, but the countless conversations we have in the truck/car are priceless to me. I've never had as much time with my father as I do these days. There are often references to his younger days, and I always pay close attention to these as well.

...Talking on the phone with newfound cousin Joey the other night. He has sent me some sort of Christmas present in the mail. I have no idea what it is. I know he is doing this becus I surprised both of my cousins with small edible gifts (nuts for him as he'd said he liked them) and at our reunion he said i didn't bring you any gifts but if you like you can have the 2 bottles of wine i brought (which no one drank as we were all so excited) and so i took him up on that and figured we were "even."

So I'm curious what in the world it could be.

My dad told me the other day he has a lot of empathy for Joey, and that's exactly how I feel. It doesn't appear he's had a lot of "fun" in his life (alcoholic, schizophrenic father and alcoholic and drug addict wife, plus numerous surgeries and health issues of his own). I hope we can change that a bit as our newfound relationships continue. Joey's expressed interest in coming to CT in the spring, and dad mentioned he could have him sleep in his little apartment.

I would really look forward to his visit, as Joey, who had a long career as a pharma salesman, is pretty intelligent and interesting to talk to.

I've also heard back from my other cousin's husband, who, after showing me how Roots Magic works on his laptop at our reunion, went ahead and ordered me the Roots Magic CD set so I can use the program to organize all my family tree research. He said I didn't need to reimburse him and that they appreciated all the work i did in researching the tree and organizing the family reunion. So I am very grateful and appreciative for that.

7 Responses to “Mulling over worst case "what-ifs"”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That was nice of your cousin to gift you the software.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Rental laws here where I live (Central Illinois) tend to favor the renter, not the landlord. In my town, if the renter claims anything is wrong with the place, whether a lightbulb burned out to whatever, the rent is waived. I know there are crooked landlords out there, but there are quite a few scammers like the one your father has in his property.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Does Roots Magic make it possible to save family trees created in ancestry.com?

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    CB, yes, you can transfer much of the info you collect on ancestry; my cousin's husband said he would do this for me.

    Also, fyi, even if you let your ancestry subscription lapse, you still have access to your tree; you just can't do further research.

  5. starfishy Says:

    so amazing that you have found new cousins and that both sides are interested in developing relationships. very cool!

  6. alice4now Says:

    I'm glad you got to spend the afternoon with your dad, you probably would have spent the afternoon worrying about him driving alone if you decided not to go with him.

  7. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    PS are you 60? What is the chances of you waiting to collect SS? With things coming that might change medicare and SS would it be wise to wait or jump and see if you can get grandfathered in?

    I think it can be hard to find good money part-time. Harder than people think. And of course with the medicare changes coming I would shudder to worry what the medical costs could be in 5 years if they voucherize it. Working for medical benefits at that point almost seem worth it.

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